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Old 04-21-2013, 07:44 PM   #1
LMBZ4ME
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Default Anyone ever regret buying a reproduction wheel?

I am finally ready to buy new wheels for my car. I am having a difficult time deciding on an OEM wheel or a reproduction wheel. I understand that a repro wheel is a few pounds heavier but that is not important to me. I am more concerned with the quality of the wheel itself and its structural integrity. How will the finish hold up, will it balance correctly...etc.

Anyone ever buy a repro wheel and regret it? Are all repro wheels made in China? Are there brands of repro wheels I should avoid or seek out because they are better? Thanks for sharing your experiences.

--Mike
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Old 04-21-2013, 08:00 PM   #2
mfj427
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If your thinking of a wheel that looks like a OEM, then just go OEM, why go cheap now.






Quote:
Originally Posted by LMBZ4ME View Post
I am finally ready to buy new wheels for my car. I am having a difficult time deciding on an OEM wheel or a reproduction wheel. I understand that a repro wheel is a few pounds heavier but that is not important to me. I am more concerned with the quality of the wheel itself and its structural integrity. How will the finish hold up, will it balance correctly...etc.

Anyone ever buy a repro wheel and regret it? Are all repro wheels made in China? Are there brands of repro wheels I should avoid or seek out because they are better? Thanks for sharing your experiences.

--Mike
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Old 04-21-2013, 08:08 PM   #3
phileaglesfan
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I would have to agree with mfj427.

I have heard good and bad things about repros. Personally, since the wheels are supporting the only part of the car that is touching the road I definitely want them to be 100% reliable.

Check actual wheel weight. A couple pounds don't seem like much until you remember it is unsprung weight.
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Old 04-21-2013, 08:18 PM   #4
Flh Den
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I purchased a set of chrome c5 thin spoke reproduction wheels for my last c5 and they were perfect. I have a friend that owns a large front end shop and always does my wheel alignment and brake work. He said the wheels were as true and easy to balance as any he had seen, new or repo. My best friend just installed a set of Chrome spiders on his C6 and they look great and he loves them, around $800 for all 4 with center caps and lugs. I have heard horror stories about repo wheels as well. Personally I would research the vendor and find out as much as you can about the quality, guarantee, and reputation of the dealer and wheel before you purchase. Several excellent forum vendors so start right here.
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Old 04-21-2013, 10:52 PM   #5
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Here are the repros I got from forum dealer West Coast Corvettes. As you can see...Horrific. I paid about a hundred bucks to have them shipped to my door, then I paid another hundred to ship them back. Hard lesson learned. Some repros are good but are you willing to pay the shipping both ways till you find that perfect set with no defects or balance issues?



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Old 04-21-2013, 10:55 PM   #6
Biggie G
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i brought a set from bobs house of wheels....great stuff...balanced great. no issues. will buy again soon...well hopfully never again! ahhahha you know what I mean. Im gonna post pics in a couple hours.
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Old 04-21-2013, 10:58 PM   #7
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I purchased a set from a forum member here and they were the worst set of wheels I have seen... They wouldnt balance out.. needed a ton of weight to get them to balance and they wobbled all over the place... so I guess its hit or miss on the repos...these $ucked.
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Old 04-21-2013, 11:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biggie G View Post
i brought a set from bobs house of wheels....great stuff...balanced great. no issues. will buy again soon...well hopfully never again! ahhahha you know what I mean. Im gonna post pics in a couple hours.


I bought a set of Z06 replicas for my 2005 and drove them 7 years and 105,000 miles with no issues. All four wheels mount/bal cost less than 2 OEM wheels alone.
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Old 04-21-2013, 11:11 PM   #9
Ferocious C6
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They're hit or miss and they weigh a lot more.
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Old 04-21-2013, 11:17 PM   #10
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Never again
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Old 04-21-2013, 11:23 PM   #11
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I am not thrilled with the repros that I got. I bought spiders in standard coupe size so OEM was not an option. I also put new Michelin PS A/S tires on at the same time. I have had vibration issues ever since. Three balances, the last on a road force machine, didn't turn up any problems so I think the wheels are straight and true. The only thing that helped was hand torquing the wheels in three steps. That brought the vibes to a level I can live with. I don't know what that says about the wheels except maybe the lug holes may be off a little?

If I ever buy aftermarket wheels again I'll get higher quality. These are Factory brand made in China. $800 for the set and they look great but a lot of agravation.


Last edited by wera32; 04-21-2013 at 11:27 PM.
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Old 04-21-2013, 11:29 PM   #12
Bill Dearborn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ptaylor_9849 View Post
Here are the repros I got from forum dealer West Coast Corvettes. As you can see...Horrific. I paid about a hundred bucks to have them shipped to my door, then I paid another hundred to ship them back. Hard lesson learned. Some repros are good but are you willing to pay the shipping both ways till you find that perfect set with no defects or balance issues?



That is the back side of the wheel. How did the side that counts look?

Bill
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Old 04-22-2013, 12:20 AM   #13
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I can see where these Chinese repos wheels can be tempting but I prefer a high quality aftermarket wheel myself
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Old 04-22-2013, 12:50 AM   #14
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Bought a second set for track use a few years ago, and checked into repros for this purpose. Wheel dealers talked me out of it, and enough for me. Ended up getting a used OEM set, from another forum member, and been holding up fine since. Would go this route again.
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Old 04-22-2013, 02:55 AM   #15
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Over all I am happy with my set, I have many many DD miles on them with no problems. I bought mine from Corvettes of Houston.
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Old 04-22-2013, 07:41 AM   #16
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I would not buy or use reproduction wheels. I prefer used OEM wheels or quality aftermarket.

I would suggest wheels are an important aspect to the vehicles ride and handling especially on a high performance corvette.

When the c7 releases and their wheels come up for sale ...they should be an inexpensive way to move to 19 front and 20 inch rears on the standard c6 if the offsets are acceptable.
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Old 04-22-2013, 08:53 AM   #17
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As said above, it is sometimes hit or miss with inexpensive repro wheels. There are good wheel mfrs., regardless of where the wheels are made, but it depends on what is written for specifications and, of course, inspections by the selling company to verify. I know one in FL that has had few if any problems.

It is better to "buy local" if you can from a retailer where you can get a return/exchange/refund in the event of "issues." If you don't, as ptrox and ptaylor said above, know what your remedies are BEFORE you buy them, i.e., do you need to put them on a balancer WITHOUT a tire (at your expense) to see if the wheels are true? who pays for shipping back and then replacement to you? will you get a FULL refund, incl. shipping costs (which can be large) after one or more tries at new/replacement wheels? etc.

To some extent, it does depend on how much you want to pay. We have wheel manufacturers on here like Finspeed, CCW, etc., who make repro wheels, but they are definitely of the high caliber level, at 2500-3500 or more per set and they start with the best of billet alum and everything is forged. And other e/re-tailers that sell high end wheels as dealer-vendors on CF.

Just be careful out there.
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Old 04-22-2013, 09:39 AM   #18
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To each their own. Like many have mentioned, it might be a hit or miss type deal when using repro wheesl. But you must also consider how ANAL some people get over their Corvette. 1, its just a Corvette and 2, every little detail isnt going to kill you. You will have to decide if a couple very small imperfections are worth saving $1k or more. Like the chrome wheels above.... seriously? A few minor things on the inside of the rim? Not a big deal to me... but to him its the world of difference. So decide on whether or not you can live with things like that.

I bought these wheels of ebay for $350. Everyone on the forum said dont do it. But for $350... it was a hard deal to pass up... even if they were garbage. They were brand new never used repros. When I got them they had a few very minor nicks/dings but that didnt bother me at all. I then took them to the local powdercoater and had them powdercoated for another $100. After the powder coat they came out FLAWLESS! They balanced perfect and look amazing! I do not regret purchasing repro wheels at all. I would def buy them again!

Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

Last edited by mabryusmc; 04-22-2013 at 09:42 AM.
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Old 04-22-2013, 09:48 AM   #19
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Never had a problem, with 2 sets, over 6 years!
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Old 04-22-2013, 09:59 AM   #20
Boomer111
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One set here and I would not do it again unless I went high end custom forged, $$$$$ is the problem then.

Rims are cheaper because it cost less to manufacture, meaning usually an outdated or inferior process of producing the rim. A good forged custom rim is a work of art the cheapo cast rims are anything but.

One word....CAUTION
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Old 04-22-2013, 09:59 AM
 
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